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'Superman & Lois' flies back to the Man of Steel's 'Smallville' roots

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 46%. 1 min read.

Superman & Lois -- "Pilot" -- Image Number: SML101a_0393r2.jpg -- Pictured: Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- ?? 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Adding a family/coming-of-age component to the Man of Steel's mythology, the show cleverly ties into the deep roots of the franchise, at least initially proving you can go home again.

(CNN)"Superman & Lois" was plucked from the ribs of the current crop of the CW's DC superhero dramas, but its strongest connection is to an earlier series, the long-running "Smallville. " Adding a family/coming-of-age component to the Man of Steel's mythology, the show cleverly ties into the deep roots of the franchise, at least initially proving you can go home again.

Kent family dynamics are soon tested, however, when Superman/Clark must travel home to Kansas, reconnecting with, among others, his high-school flame Lana Lang ("Entourage's" Emmanuelle Chriqui), herself married with a teenage daughter (Inde Navarrette).

With Marvel making significant inroads in television (OK, streaming), DC appears to have recognized a need to up its game a bit, and the first two episodes of "Superman & Lois" (starting with an extra-long premiere) feature abundant and pretty impressive special effects.

"Man of Steel" it isn't, but the image of Superman hovering in the sky remains impressive, serving notice that the show plans to treat the 84-year-old character with the respect that he's due.

Superman and Batman remain the crown jewels of DC's stable, and the former's uneven screen history over the last few decades ranges from "Lois & Clark" in the 1990s to "Smallville" (which signed off a decade ago) to this century's solo theatrical revival efforts "Superman Returns" and "Man of Steel. "

Based on first impressions, though, "Superman & Lois" rises to that challenge.

"Superman & Lois" premieres Feb. 23 at 8 p. m. on the CW.

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